Now even CYCLISTS turn on Sadiq Khan’s cycle lanes: Furious biker launches petition to end ‘chaotic’ green city plan… launched as capital ground to halt with lockdown traffic
- Motorists have become weary of huge tailbacks caused by pop-up cycle lanes
- Cyclist Georges Assi has taken matters into own hands by launching petition
- It is focused on Kensington in West London which has seen severe problems
- He said area is ‘completely clogged’ with road users stuck in ‘endless traffic’
They have led to gridlock across London by reducing many roads to a single lane each way for cars amid an aim to promote cycling during the coronavirus pandemic.
But now even cyclists are waging war on cycle lanes as a petition was launched last night to London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the capital ground to a halt in severe traffic.
Motorists have become weary of huge tailbacks caused by the lanes since lockdown rules were lifted, with the situation worsening after schools returned in September.
Now, cyclist Georges Assi has taken matters into his own hands by launching a petition to end the lanes – focused on High Street Kensington in West London.
Traffic was at a standstill on High Street Kensington in West London last night, partly thanks to the cycle lane which has reduced the major road to a single lane in both directions
Cyclist Georges Assi has taken matters into his own hands by launching a Change.org petition to end the cycle lanes – focused on High Street Kensington in West London
Data from location technology company TomTom showed congestion during rush hour last night was worse than normal in 16 out of 24 cities and towns. London is shown above
He said the area near Kensington Palace has become ‘completely clogged’ and is ‘getting worse’ – with motorists and bus passengers stuck in ‘endless traffic’.
Mr Assi wrote in the petition on Change.org: ‘This is not a war on cyclists. I am a cyclist and many of my cyclist friends are against this Scheme too.
… but one cycling charity claims CARS clogging up cities – and not bike lanes
Commuters driving to work instead of using public transport are responsible for clogging up cities rather than the installation of bike lanes, a cycling charity has claimed.
Cycling UK said its analysis of official data demonstrates ‘we need to make it more appealing’ for people to use active modes of travel such as cycling and walking.
It pointed to Government figures showing car use has returned to 83 per cent of pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, despite Office for National Statistics data indicating only 59 per cent of workers have returned to their normal place of employment.
This shows that congestion is being caused by people changing their mode of commuting from public transport to car, according to Cycling UK.
‘My children take the bus, we try to avoid short car journeys when possible, and we all aspire to this noble vision of a greener city with less dependency on short private car rides.
‘But this scheme, in its current implementation, is creating mahyem and chaos, and having the very opposite effect. And it’s not going away unless we make it go away, even if things stabilise during Lockdown 2 for obvious reasons.’
It comes amid claims cyclists are being prioritised over motorists in London and elsewhere after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced £2billion in funding in July to usher in a ‘golden age of cycling’.
Some 1,400 miles of new cycle lane have been introduced since the pandemic began, but many have gone unused and brought gridlock to towns and cities where private car use has remained high.
But opposition is growing against emergency active travel schemes featuring pop-up bike lanes and low traffic neighbourhoods.
Roads were in gridlock across England yesterday evening as motorists headed for last-minute shopping and leisure trips before lockdown began today.
Rush-hour traffic was said to be at levels normally seen in the days before Christmas. There were 1,100 miles of jams in London alone at 6pm and the M25 was brought to a near-standstill.
Data from location technology company TomTom showed congestion was worse than normal in 16 out of 24 cities and towns.
As drivers reported colossal tailbacks, the RAC said breakdown reports were up 15 per cent compared to normal, adding: ‘That’s a sign that the roads are much, much busier.’
A cycle lane remains quiet next to heavy traffic on Euston Road in London on September 10
A cyclist makes their way along a lane on Tooting High Street in South London in September
Queuing traffic is pictured next to an empty pop-up cycle lane in Bristol in September
It said the spike was caused by families heading for pre-lockdown shopping trips and leisure outings.
The rush to stock up saw huge queues outside shops and beer being sold for just 99p a pint before it goes off.
Shoppers were keen to fill their trolleys before four weeks of having to stay at home and make only essential journeys.
Airports were also packed as travellers raced to beat the lockdown. At Heathrow, there were already long queues of holidaymakers at 6am for the great getaway.
Meanwhile, pub giant Wetherspoons sold pints of real ale for just 99p in a bid to clear stock before the lockdown came into effect.
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